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WAMC New York News
Fri December 30, 2011
Indian Point Licensing Renewal Challenged
By Dave Lucas
Buchanan, NY – An environmental group has filed a report with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board raising new questions pertaining to Entergy's application to relicense the Indian Point nuclear power plants for another 20 years. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports.
Last summer, Clearwater broke new ground when the Atomic Safety Licensing Board accepted its Environmental Justice contention for a hearing the first contention of its kind ever to be heard in a nuclear relicensing proceeding Hudson River Sloop Clearwater is one of three parties challenging Indian Point's relicensing before the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board.
Clearwater Environmental Director Manna Jo Greene explains that if an emergency should arise, evacuation would be quite difficult, especially for people who rely on public transit, as well as impacts on elderly and institutionalized populations.
Aaron Mair, a longtime environmental justice advocate originally from Peekskill and now based in Albany, recalls "duck and cover" drills as a student growing up in the shadow of Indian Point. Manna Jo Greene says its time to further the transition to a green energy economy with renewables and energy eficiency initiatives.
Clearwater is also citing the "potential for disproportionate impact" and the licensing board's need to consider the residents at nearby Sing Sing state prison. According to Clearwater's statement of legal position, Sing Sing's "population is overwhelmingly from minority groups, and the ability of prisoners to respond to emergencies is completely different to that of the general population."
Entergy Communications Director Jim Steets says Indian Point's current emergency response plan is "a good one." The other two parties challenging Indian Point's relicensing are Riverkeeper and New York State. They plan on arguing their case at a hearing in 2012.